ESR study of radiation-induced polymerization of styrene adsorbed on silica gel

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Abstract

The effect of the specific surface area of silica gels on the radiation-induced polymerization of styrene adsorbed on silica gel was studied by ESR. The same radicals were generated on the silica gels regardless of the specific surface area, but the stability of the radicals at room temperature depended on the specific surface area. This means that the decay of the radicals proceeded mainly on the surface of the silica gel. Almost all the radicals generated by irradiation were initially in the bulk of the silica gel and migrated from the interior to the surface of the gel. When styrene monomer was adsorbed on the surface of the silica gel, the silica gel radicals interacted with the monomer and initiated polymerization and then generated polymer. The rate of migration of the silica gel radical was rather fast in the case of silica gel with a large specific surface area. Thus, the polymerization behavior of styrene adsorbed on silica gel greatly depended on the specific surface area of the gel.

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